Norfolk residents between the ages of 18-34 make up over 36% of Hampton Roads poverty stricken. There is a visible gap separating those who have and those who lack. This absence of income has created a consistent production of low-income families and communities all around Hampton Roads.
The family model representing stability is failing in urban communities. 60% of U.S. children who live in mother-only families are impoverished. Incarceration of fathers is a huge contributing factor leaving fatherless homes with mothers who depend on government systems to survive. This cycle traps broken families in substandard living conditions in neighborhoods where violence is heavy and children attend schools that only prepare them to stay in that cycle.
The usual solution to assist these families is often to label their communities dangerous eyesores that must be revitalized. Neighborhoods are torn down and residents disperse to other poverty-stricken neighborhoods. This leads to the same outcome in a different area.
Our goal at The Bennett Center is to bring fathers back into the home and rebuild the family structure. We want to break the cycle of deficiency by increasing quality of life. We believe providing programs that work together, allowing people to improve their whole selves, mentally, emotionally and physically is paramount to the success of people achieving that goal.